Dry eyes is a common, chronic condition that is caused by an insufficient production of tears. Proper tear production is necessary to lubricate and nourish our eyes. The amount and quality of a person's tears, if inadequate or poor, can result in the development of dry eye syndrome.
People that have dry eyes may experience one or all of the following:irritation, gritty or sandy feeling, foreign body sensation, scratchiness, burning, excess watering, and blurred vision. In advanced cases, it can cause damage to the surface of the eye and impaired vision.
Several factors can increase your risk of getting dry eyes. These include age, gender (women are more susceptible due to hormone fluctuations), medications (i.e. antihistamines, decongestants, blood pressure meds, antidepressants), medical conditions (such as rheumatoid arthritis, diabetes, thyroid problems, Sjogren's syndrome), environment (smoke, wind, dry climates), and prolonged computer use.
A thorough, comprehensive exam can help in determining whether you have dry eyes. In order to diagnosis a patient with dry eye syndrome, Dr. Penney will go over a patient's history, do an external exam of the eye, evaluate the lids and cornea, and measure the quantity and quality of the tears.
If you have been diagnosed with dry eyes, there are multiple treatment options. Those of which include; artificial tears (Dr. Penney highly recommends Genteal Tears Preservative Free), prescription drops such as Restasis, omega 3 supplements, proper water intake (48-60 ounces daily), and in some cases, surgical plugs that will block the tear ducts.
If you think you might be experiencing symptoms of dry eyes, please give us a call or come in to set up an appointment with Dr. Penney.